Getting Started – Snapchat Pixy Drone: A Fun But Almost Useless Flying Selfie Stick

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At the end of April 2022, Snap surprised everyone by announcing the launch of its first drone, the Pixy. A small device with colorful colors and a toy look, whose automation and playful operation are highlighted by Snapchat. A little feedback about this drone on Snapchat.

Snapchat Pixy

Introductory price 250 €



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Snapchat, a “camera company”

Snapchat (or now Snap) is hardly known as a manufacturer of photo or video equipment. However, here and there, the company sells interesting products. After Spectacles (V1 and V2), camera glasses inspired by our dreams of apprentice child spies, the American company returned to attack using a drone! Baptized Pixy, this little yellow cake is as appealing as the wake -up call. Sold for 250 € the same, or even 275 if you choose the package with two batteries and a charger, the product is a victim of self -success, with a waiting period of 10 weeks to write these lines , and increasingly limited stocks.

Pixy is your friend.

Nice toy

Once available, this is the fun aspect of the drone that is most surprising. In a very bright yellow, symbol of the brand, it adopts an all plastic coating that brings us back most of the time in Happy Meal toys. It is also much lighter at its 101 g and fits in a large pocket. This drone is ultra accessible and has only two controls: a button used to remove it and a control wheel reminiscent of compact cameras in the early 2000s.

The mode selection wheel adds a playful aspect to the Snapchat drone.

The mode selection wheel adds a playful aspect to the Snapchat drone.

From this wheel, we have access to four predefined flight programs and the fifth we can choose as a favorite. The “stand-by” mode is only used to operate the device. Don’t look for any way to pilot through the Snapchat application, no, at most you can adjust the duration of the flights (between 10 and 60 s) according to the programs or the distance traveled by ayroplano. apparatus: we are talking here about a maximum of 9 m.

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A fully automatic drone

The strength of Snap’s Pixy lies in its overall automation, which makes it very easy to use. Once turned on, just place it, camera facing you, and press the only button available. The engine will start at a lawnmower noise and climb a few centimeters above the selected support (usually the “pilot ”’s hand). Once the detection of a face is done, it is more straightforward to launch the drone and perform the selected program.

A simple press of a button is enough to get it.

A simple press of a button is enough to get it.

Be careful not to fly it in the rainy, windy weather or near water, as it is a small sensitive creature. The same goes for reflective surfaces or cliff edges that confuse the craft. Also, Snapchat made sure to opt for adequate, natural lighting and place someone close enough to the drone sensor under penalty of seeing it perform stunts like our introductory video.

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Simple and fun, Snapchat style

Programs range from flying a few cubits away from the person being filmed and/or photographed, via panoramic mode up to about ten meters from the target. You can even opt for an “orbital” flight: the drone makes one or less large rotations around the target. Finally, there is a topic tracking mode. If it has merit that exists, its operation is relatively risky. We don’t have the presence of a high-tech product, and we shouldn’t rush it. So be careful not to walk too fast or too slow for fear of seeing your mini UFO remain confused. If the object hits an obstacle, from the leaf to the brick wall, it will automatically slow down on the landing attempt, not without going through a moment of somewhat ridiculous horror. However, the drone never crashed so fast.

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Be careful not to use the Snapchat drone too close to the water.

Be careful not to use the Snapchat drone too close to the water.

We meant that in order to fly, the drone had to be in front of someone, and that it could follow the subjects. However, it doesn’t recognize everyone’s face. It will notice the shape of the faces, but no more. If you plan to use your Pixy as an inexpensive mass surveillance tool, go for it. Similarly, your neighbors can be assured, the drone must always be in front of its user and not exceed 4.5 m in height: so you can not spy an entire block of houses thanks to it. Just the loud sound of its blades can disturb your neighborhood.

Could it be louder?

In the same vein, if you happen to want to get into creating vlogs with Pixy, don’t forget that the drone doesn’t carry any microphone. It would have been useless because of the sweet melody we mentioned above and that came out of its corpse. In addition, we quickly tackled Pixy’s main problem: autonomy. In fact, battery life is recommended for 5, 6 or 8 flights depending on the selected program. In fact, don’t plan to use the drone for more than 3 or 4 consecutive minutes. This can greatly reduce the feeling of fun machine -related. For yes, Pixy, despite her appearance AFFORDABLE and the noise emitted, is quite fun to use… in just a few minutes, because afterwards, it is dry ruin.

Deletion.

A flying selfie stick

If you invest in more batteries, you can extend the experience by a few minutes, but not anymore. You have to understand that when imagining Snapchat, Pixy is a kind of recurring selfie stick. A tool we pick up occasionally and only for a few seconds. Except that your selfie stick, in addition to silence, doesn’t need a mains socket to work …

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Pixy and her battery, the big black dot.

Pixy and her battery, the big black dot.

Another concern related to the use of drones relates to the legal framework for flights. Even if this drone falls into category C0, the lowest in terms of legislation, it will still not be flown in the town and other public places. Here you will find an official map showing the authorized flight zones.

Map of no-fly zones (in red) and restricted height zones (in orange).  © French Republic

Map of no-fly zones (in red) and restricted height zones (in orange). © French Republic

The largest USB key in the world

Once the flight sessions are over, it’s worth considering the work done. For this, there are many methods, but you have to start the Snapchat application (obviously). The equipment of the drone is very fast and here you can change some shooting parameters or even activate the transfer directly via the USB port of the beast, whose internal storage is 16 GB. So it’s up to you to review your images and download them. And Snapchat left the choice to the user. Of course you can rework your videos directly from the manufacturer’s application and thus benefit from all the fun effects that have made the company so successful in its infancy. But it’s also possible to send orders directly to a competing social network or to retrieve them on your smartphone, without a watermark.

The application connection is very simple and efficient.

The application connection is very simple and efficient.

Relative picture quality

Let’s talk a little bit about image quality today. You don’t know that Digital we are very confused about this subject. The Pixy has two photo sensors. The first, located at the bottom, is used only for in-flight navigation, while the second is used for capturing videos and photos. It is 12 megapixels and has an optical aperture of f/2.4. We do not know the exact focal length, but it is an ultra wide-angle (less than 20 mm) that shows some distortions.

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Videos are captured at 2.7K and 30 fps in 16: 9 format. If the result observed on the smartphone – and passed through the mill of social network algorithms – is acceptable, if we analyze the files, photos or videos from our test scene on the larger screen, the magic crashes. The level of detail is minimal, the colorimetry isn’t there and compared to a modern entry-level smartphone, like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, it’s more embarrassing.



Xiaomi Redmi Note 11


Snapchat Pixy

In low light, the result is more disappointing. Snapchat’s drone isn’t cut out for evening photos or videos. It does not have software processing that makes it possible to track images captured when the light goes out. The captured videos are difficult to use. It is therefore necessary to reserve the use of the drone for very well lit situations. In addition, the videos, as we explained, were recorded in 16: 9 format and in scene. In applying it to a story Or something else real, you need to crop the image to portrait or square format, and therefore lose even more quality. Unique positive point, the flight stability of the device. In addition to strong winds, it stays level, making it possible to get the right sequence from this point of view.

A concept to refine

As you can understand, this Snapchat Pixy drone leaves us in doubt. On the one hand, it’s a fun thing that’s well thought out and much easier to use. But on the other hand, it drains its battery faster than a Sega Game Gear and recharging it can always weaken the sense of fun, as well as make it impossible to fly it out for a few minutes. unique places. Exporting and editing video is smooth and fluid, Snapchat wants to make it as easy as possible for us. It’s a gadget, an interesting toy, but we might think that sooner or later it should end its life under a drawer … next to your selfie stick. It remains to be seen if Snapchat will release a version of both with, at the very least, better battery life.

His flight didn’t seem real.

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